Interior Department to hold consultations with tribal leaders in March

The Interior Department announced on Thursday that it will hold consultations with tribal leaders in March “to hear Tribal leaders’ suggestions for federal policy and departmental actions.”

There will be four meetings in March run by the Indian Affairs’ Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action. One meeting will occur March 8, two meetings on March 10 and one on March 12. 

“Honoring our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes and upholding the trust and treaty responsibilities to them are paramount to fulfilling Interior’s mission. Meaningful consultations ensure we center Tribal voices as we address the health, economic, racial justice and climate crises — all of which disproportionately impact American Indian and Alaska Natives,” said Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Interior’s designated Tribal Governance Officer and Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs, in the announcement. 

The announcement also urged other federal agencies to have someone attend the meetings so they can listen to how they can better serve tribal communities. All federally recognized tribes will be invited to suggest federal policies that would benefit them. 

The announcement comes after President Biden signed a memorandum on Jan. 26 that stated that “all executive departments and agencies with engaging in regular, meaningful, and robust consultation with Tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have Tribal implications.” 

Tribal nations have recently been involved in talks about calls for Biden to shut down a Dakota Access pipeline as the pipeline is affecting their land.

Tags Interior Department Joe Biden tribal leaders

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